Category Archives: Gospel

Akin – Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), a candidate for the U.S. Senate will go down in the chronicles of history for opening his mouth and sticking his foot in.  Let this really be a lesson to us all, especially pastors.  Who hasn’t said things in the pulpit and in hindsight wish you had not? Come on, tell the truth and shame the devilye without sin cast the first stone.  Two things we pastors must always keep in mind:

  1. Check our facts
  2. Follow the script (your prepared script & the Holy Spirit script)

We sometimes miss the ball when we move out of the spirit into the flesh. Are we really to believe that our congregation never picks up when we blunder?  We should just thank God for Grace & Mercy.

Akin’s passion for LIFE regardless of “conception means” caused him to misspeak as he is a strong proponent and advocate for the Pro-Life stance.

Here’s where he really messed up, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Here’s what we heard, “Women have the means to be able to shut down, redirect the sperm before it can get to the egg.”  What? We do? We can? That’s  the ultimate birth control.  Is it  some type of telepathic state we can put ourselves in that we can, like Star Trek’s Captain Kirk shout out, “Lower the defense shield – incoming!”?

I’m just poking fun, trying to lift a somber mood, but the real sad commentary on this is, I believe Akin really believed this to be true in cases of sexual trauma as a result of rape.

I personally believe he should stay in the race, but these days our culture is quick to crucify anyone who stands up for one’s own moral conviction.  Just ask Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick Fil-A who took a stand to defend traditional marriage being between a man and a woman.

As Christians, we are to expect persecution.  And let’s face it persecution can come disguised in many forms.  However, in the same sense, the Bible also tells us to be as why as a serpent and as innocent as a dove.

If a man already has an unloaded gun pointed at your head, it’s crazy to give him a bullet.  That’s not murder, that’s suicide.  I think my dad’s advice comes in real handy here, “Think before you speak.”


Me . . Left Behind?

I love Sci-Fi movies.  Some of my all time favorites include anything Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Jaws & Jurassic Park I, II, III, IV, the Matrix, Alien -you get my point. Well when I found a single DVD with 10 Sci-Fi movies on it for only $4.99, I thought I have hit the “Jack Pot!”

One movie I watched really got me thinking.  It was called, “Apocalypse.”  I sat back in my comfy lounge chair with the foot rest up and awaited Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton, but soon remembered that movie was called, “Armageddon.”

Although I did not know these actors; there was a similarity between both movies  in that they both dealt with an  unwelcome guest – an asteroid that threatened the existence of man.

It was an ordinary day.  People were busy doing what they do when a small asteroid hit and destroyed an entire city throwing an entire population in a panic.  The movie centered around a mother and father’s quest to find their teenage daughter who was in another state before the next ‘giant’ asteroid headed to destroy earth.

To my surprise this movie was a film about faith, guilt, courage, rejection and  acceptance.  Honestly, I don’t know how this movie was squeezed in among all the others but to my enjoyment, I was glad it was.

In the midst of coping with the aftermath of the first asteroid decent which set off additional tremors, quakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and the mysterious disappearance of people, while on their adventurous journey, the mother attempts to witness  to her husband about faith and about the rapture.

REJECTION IN SPITE OF EVIDENCE. Like many others, the father vehemently dismisses and rejects her claims and desperately searches for an intellectual and reasonable explanation for the tragic events.

There was a point in the story where some one said, “Well, if you’re a Christian why weren’t you taken up?”  A response went something similar to this ” . . .God had taken up the ‘true’ believers.”

DO I MEASURE UP BY GOD’S STANDARDS? Wow! What a statement, ‘He took up ‘true’ believers.’ It left me thinking.  By man’s judgment, I am thought to be a ‘true’ Christian, but what about ‘God’s’ judgment?  Does He? hmm…..

PERSONALLY PONDERING. I have been reflecting ever since.  How is my relationship with God and His Son Jesus? Am I doing all I can? Is my worship for real? Is God really pleased with me or at this present state – would I be taken up or would I be left behind? hmm…..

PASTORS LEFT BEHIND? This movie was also very similar to the Christian movie, “Left Behind” starring Kirk Cameron.

What sayeth you that in this movie some pastors were originally left behind?

Creative Worship – How Far is too Far?

I had an opportunity to hear a pastor’s panel and debate the other day.  The topic dealt with ‘Creative Worship;’ just how far is too far?”  With the use of video, props, illustrations, secular music and the like, how do we know when we have pushed that envelope right off the table?  Beds on the stage, people in beds on the stage, cars on the stage, secular R-rated video clips shown –all to bring a relevant word – but have we gone too far?  hmmm…..

As I ponder, I think about the basics of our faith.  Jesus told us to go out, make disciples, baptize people in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and told us to teach… Invite Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior.

It really gets me when I see pastors who have brought five people into profession of faith in a calendar year, but complain about the ‘movers and shakers’ who are bringing in hundreds per year. 

 Their charge: 

  • They are entertainment based.  It’s like going to a concert every week.
  • Lights, camera, ACTION. 
  • They do not revere the Lord.
  • Nothing’s sacred. 
  • They have a ‘feel good ministry.’ 
  • They don’t talk about SIN. 
  • They are showy and want to be seen. 
  • They exploit their congregations.
  • They are sending their followers to hell.

    One pastor responded this way. “It seems to me that the real issue is to complain about those pastors who seem to have it going on.  At least these pastors are doing SOMETHING.  Shouldn’t we be hearing some complaints about the pastors who are doing NOTHING?”  To make matters worse these pastors are boasting in their NOTHINGNESS.

    Good point.  I personally believe we pastors respond this way because of two motivations:

    1. We are jealous that we are not seeing the results that these other pastors are seeing.
    2. We make these charges to justify us playing it safe, not raising the bar and to maintain our own comfortable way of doing things.

    "Some times to win souls, we need to push the envelope a little"

    Although I do think that there are pastors that may take things too far – especially in their sermons dealing with sexuality, I think a greater charge is to those pastors who are not going far enough.

    Surveys report that ninety (90%) of people learn better by visuals.  So pastors I implore you – Show them something!  Allow your lay ministers (deacons or staff) to help you flush out an idea or two especially if you are suffering from a sort of spiritual constipation. You have got to ‘STEP UP YOUR METAPHORICAL GAME!’

    Challenge: The next time you’re talking about Adam and Eve at least show your congregation a piece of fruit!

    The next time you are tempted to complain about a mover and shaker that seems to be producing results ask yourself first. . .

    “Could I be doing more?”